The earliest known record of St Leonard’s (Sutton Veny, Wiltshire) dates from 1240, the church continuing to serve the parish until the end of the 19th century. A major restoration in 1831 gave it a temporary reprieve but thirty five years later it was decided that the church, due to its instability, should be abandoned and a replacement built nearby. Today, with the exception of the chancel, it has fallen into ruin, the remaining 13th century structure an atmospheric reminder of past lives. There was something quite haunting as I picked my way through the forgotten graves of those who once shared the key moments of their lives in a now abandoned church with crumbling walls standing gaunt against the sky.
(All images are copyright to Noeline Smith)